Augmented reality (AR) has long been associated with games like Pokémon Go and Zombies, Run! However, AR is now rewriting the rules of the retail game.
A growing number of retailers are leveraging the technology to entice customers with a “try before you buy” shopping experience, having already been adopted by several big names in retail, including the likes of Walmart and Target. Meanwhile, clothing merchants like Neiman Marcus, Ralph Lauren and Zara have introduced smart mirrors into their fitting rooms that can offer suggestions for additional items to complete a look.
Before jumping head first onto the AR bandwagon, though, retailers need to ask themselves: How do AR features like these build up the brand names of the retailers that use them? Do they add value or are they frivolous marketing ploys?
In this edition of the Digital Consumer Report, a Samsung Pay collaboration, PYMNTS examines how AR is moving beyond video games to take retail to the next level — whether by providing shoppers a clearer vision of how a product might look before committing to a purchase or by simply creating a digital space in which they can unleash their creative potential.
AR technology is being used to build upon the 3D world, even leveraging the social dimension of shopping by directly connecting consumers’ digital experiences to social media.
Meanwhile, in the home improvement market, AR is being used to help shoppers visualize their renovation plans before going through the trouble of installing and needing to return.
Lowe’s, for one, is looking to use AR to help customers feel confident in their purchases with its own AR-based “try before you buy” solution. To contextualize AR-based home improvement solutions, Josh Shabtai, director of lab productions at the Lowe’s Innovation Lab, discusses how these apps are changing the way consumers shop and the lessons retailers can take from AR games like Pokémon Go.
To read the feature story and get a close look into how AR is laying the foundation for retail’s next state of evolution, download the new Digital Consumer Report.